Patrick Widdess reports on Cambridge Creates Live – CB2, Cambridge, 4 October 2009

Jonny Marvel


Cambridge Creates is an initiative to promote the creative talent of Cambridge’s diverse residents. A book of work by local writers and artists is planned for the end of the year and this fundraiser gave a platform to an eclectic line up of poets and musicians.

First up was Dominic Mulvey with heartfelt poems including a touching piece about his younger brother. Next was Nick Stibbs who put poetry on trial and it won! Nick’s poems are witty and philosophical and explore the world with wide-eyed wonderment. Next there was music from Annetta Grindstead whose haunting vocals captivated the whole room. Malcolm Guite followed with poetry and music. He finds poetry and meaning in every day moments and sings folk songs worthy of Bob Dylan.

The dead poets’ society from Peterborough consisted of Poet Mark Grist and hip-hop MC Mixy. They performed separately first, Mixy delivering high speed lyrics more profound than many in the genre. His final piece was a bittersweet tale of falling in love with a girl in a bar in Spain with a tragic twist. Mark Grist takes an ironic look at life and all its joys and miseries. He reflects on first love experienced at primary school and in What do you go for in a Girl? he imagines confessing his preference for intelligent, thoughtful women to a bunch of lager-drinking lads. Following their solo sets they attempted to unite poetry and hip-hop in a dialogue that showed them to be masters of the written and spoken word.

More spoken word was provided during the night by organisers Johnny Marvel, Nicky Smith and Jilna Shah. East India Company brought the night to a close with some chilled out acoustic pop.

The night was a wonderful celebration of local talent, with artists giving their time for love and the joy of performing to an appreciative audience. Cambridge Creates is a venture that should be highly commended. Events such as these are a wonderful means of bringing communities together. The proceeds of this one will go towards producing a book that will promote the talents of many more gifted locals. The proceeds from the book will then go to local charities and so the benefits continue. Look out for more events like this and do try to support them. If the standard of creative talent at this night is anything to go by, the book should be on everyone's Christmas list.

Writer: Patrick Widdess

Photo of Johnny Marvel

Cambridge Creates are seeking submissions from local artists of poetry/songs/prose/short stories/artwork/cartoons/sketches/illustrations etc. They should be sent to
or, via post to:
21 The Paddocks

For further information and details of future events check out the Facebook group: